Saudi Arabia is to expand its ballistic missile programme as it bolsters its deterrent to the threat from Iran in the covert arms race unfolding between the arch-enemies of the Gulf.

Riyadh has amassed surface-to- surface ballistic missiles and British-built cruise missiles as it seeks to counter Iran’s disputed nuclear programme.

The threat of a further escalation in the race to acquire more potent missile strike capabilities comes amid Saudi Arabia’s scepticism that nuclear talks between Tehran and world powers will produce a deal that places atomic weapons beyond Iran’s reach. […]